Nighttime Visibility In RowlettMarch 18, 2014

There are a number of factors that contribute to the high nighttime accident rate in the greater Rowlett area, things like drowsy driving and a higher rate of impaired driving. Without a doubt, visibility is a major contributor. Let’s focus on visibility…

It’s said that 90 percent of our driving decisions are based on what we see. Nighttime driving has the effect of reducing 20/20 vision to the equivalent of 20/50 vision. What you could clearly see at 50 feet in daylight can’t be seen until you are just 20 feet away at night.

Too make sure your headlights are giving you the greatest visibility, visit us at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. you’ll find us located on 5110 Grisham Dr., Rowlett, TX 75088. Please give us a call to make an appointment: 972.475.4800.

Accident avoidance is dependent on reaction time. Reaction time deteriorates measurably in low light conditions. One thing we can do to improve visibility is to make sure our headlights are as bright as they can possibly be.

Headlamps dim over time. They dim so gradually that you may not notice it. Many experts suggest replacing your standard or halogen headlamps once a year.

If your vehicle has standard headlamps, consider upgrading to halogen lamps. They make a big difference. And there are upgrades available within the halogen category as well. This once-a-year expense is very modest compared to the safety benefits.

Some trucks come with high intensity discharge – or HID – headlamps. These lamps should last for the life of your car. They are very bright and are clearly the best option for nighttime driving. Depending on your vehicle, you may be able to upgrade to HID headlamps. Talk with your Rowlett service advisor at Lewis Complete Auto Repair about options for your car.

Another startling fact is that 90 percent of trucks on the road have dirty or yellowed headlight covers. Dirty is easy to fix. Just run the window washer over the headlight cover when you stop for gas. Get those bugs and dirt off the cover.

Now plastic headlight covers can yellow or become hazy over time. They can be restored to clarity with a special polishing process. Lewis Complete Auto Repair can help you with this service.

It’s also vital to keep your windshield clean and streak free when driving at night. Make sure you have plenty of washer fluid and that your windshield wipers are in good working order.

We recommend replacing wiper blades twice a year – in the spring and fall. Fall is also a good time to replace headlamps so you’ll be ready for those long winter nights.

Rowlett Drivers: Get Fresh Air Inside Your CarMarch 13, 2014

Let’s talk about air quality in Rowlett. It’s a global issue, but affects us wherever we are. Many decades ago, Rowlett drivers began to become aware of how air pollution negatively affects health. But what about the air inside your vehicle?

Cabin air filters are now coming on most new trucks in Rowlett. These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment. They can filter particles down to three microns, so that’s good enough to clean out dust, pollen and most pollutants. If you suffer from allergies in Rowlett, this is very good news. Your car can be a haven during your Rowlett commute.

Rowlett Drivers: Get Fresh Air Inside Your CarNow, it’s only been in the last few years that cabin air filters have become common in Rowlett. You can look in your owner’s manual to see if you have one. If you do, there’ll be a recommendation for replacing it when it gets dirty. If you live in an area of Rowlett where there’s a lot of dust, pollen or pollution, you may need to change it more often.

You can also ask your friendly Lewis Complete Auto Repair technician in Rowlett. How hard is it to change an air filter on a car? It depends on your vehicle. Some are quite accessible; others take some doing to get to them. They’re usually in the engine compartment or under the dashboard.

Because cabin air filters are so new on the scene, some Rowlett people haven’t heard of them – even car owners who have cabin air filters in their truck. Lewis Complete Auto Repair service advisors have discovered that many Rowlett customers who complained about an unpleasant odor in their truck simply had a dirty cabin air filter.

Higher Mileage Service Intervals For RowlettMarch 4, 2014

Rowlett motorists have probably noticed that the government mandates a lot of equipment on cars: emission devices and control computers; safety equipment like airbags; and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the motoring public in Rowlett but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car in TX.

Because new cars are more expensive, Rowlett residents are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on going.

Some owner’s manuals don’t outline service requirements and schedules at higher mileage. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever for Rowlett motorists to stay on top of routine auto maintenance for cars with more than 120,000 miles/190,000 kilometers. Just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 24,000 miles/38,000 kilometers should be performed at 24,000 mi/38,000 km; 48,000 mi/77,000 km; 72,000mi/116,000 km, 96,000 mi/154,000 km; and on and on.

Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule may be more appropriate than the regular schedule. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and do not hold the fluids as well as they used to. If you don’t already have one, it is more vital than ever to get a good service specialist, like any one of the automotive professionals on our team at Lewis Complete Auto Repair. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put some clicks on the odometer, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course.

Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints for Rowlett motorists that trouble is brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair. Regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things Rowlett drivers can do to really help a high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, transmission fluids and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have higher mileage.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older truck engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel efficiency and excellent wear protection. Come into Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett for a checkup.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high kilometer vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 mi/80,000 km, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. The fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids in Rowlett because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold for Rowlett motorists in terms of preventing pricey repair costs down the road.

It does cost more for auto owners to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle in Rowlett – but it’s much cheaper than a new car payment!

Save Fuel By Watching Your WeightFebruary 25, 2014

Most Rowlett drivers are all talking fuel economy right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. TX folks want to save the environment and our pocketbooks.

And we Rowlett motorists all know — or should know — that preventive maintenance will help maintain maximum fuel economy. But is there something more we can do? After all, some of us Rowlett motorists can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.

Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from Rowlett to Rockwall to Garland. And that means buying more gas and producing more emissions.

Of course, your vehicle’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise.

But look around your car. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around Rowlett? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your Rowlett neighborhood? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don’t. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.

The same goes for anything else in your truck: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don’t.

Clean out your vehicle. You’d be surprised how much weight you’re lugging around in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food, and regular old dirt. Even if it’s not a lot of weight, you’ll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.

Now, don’t toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire — the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in the car when you go on a longer trip, but you don’t have to lug it around Rowlett all the time.

After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?

Lose the junk and save some bucks
.

Differential Service At Lewis Complete Auto Repair: Vive ala DifferenceFebruary 21, 2014

Every truck on TX highways has a differential, and it is important to the proper operation of the vehicle, but most Rowlett auto owners don’t have a clue what it is.

The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the truck must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.

Differential Service At Lewis Complete Auto Repair: Vive ala Difference Have you ever seen the large bugle-shaped object in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That’s the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV’s have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.

You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You’d be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.

In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the important job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don’t want your differential to seize up. That results in expensive damage to your truck.

So you need to have your truck differential serviced regularly. It’s not a complicated job. At Lewis Complete Auto Repair in Rowlett we’ve been servicing differentials for 9 years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Rowlett service center will ensure you are getting what your truck needs.

The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner’s manual or Lewis Complete Auto Repair to find out how often your truck differential needs to be serviced.

Generally, however, front-wheel drive vehicles need their differential serviced more often than rear-wheel drive vehicles. Also, if you spend a lot of time off-road or on Rowlett area dirt or gravel roads, or if you drive through water, you will need to service your differential more often than the standard recommendation – check with your friendly Lewis Complete Auto Repair technician.

Preventive maintenance for your differential is good car care that can spare you expensive repair bills. Knowing what your differential is and how it operates is vital and will help you understand why this is good auto advice. Remember, take care of your truck, and it will take care of you.